Encyclopedia of Disc Music Boxes 1881 - 1920
       A History,
          Catalog Raisonné,
                and Appreciation.
                          By Q. David Bowers
                                     An AMICA-International Publication

Q. David Bowers has collected, studied, and enjoyed automatic musical instruments, beginning in 1960. In the intervening years he has written several books on the subject, including A Guide Book of Automatic Musical Instruments (1966), Put Another Nickel In (1968), Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments (1971), and Treasures of Mechanical Music (co-authored with Arthur A. Reblitz, 1981). He has contributed many articles to the journals of the Musical Box Society International and AMICA (Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association), and is one of just four recipients of the Musical Box Society International’s Lifetime Service Award. The author, whose main business over the years has been as a dealer in rare coins, has traveled extensively through America and Europe seeking information relating to automatic musical instruments.

Ramsi P. Tick, the owner of Q-R-S Music Rolls from 1966 until 1989.

In addition to heading Q-R-S, he originated the Q-R-S Great Performers Series in Buffalo, New York. The series brought such performers as Vladimir Horowitz, Andres Segovia, Beverly Sills, Marilyn Horne, Andre Watts, Eugene Istomin, Isaac Stern, and Leonard Rose to the city. He was also the manager of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1956 to 1964.

Tick had loved player pianos from his boyhood days in Buffalo, and he later bought one for himself. He learned that the player rolls were made by a company in The Bronx. "I kept my eye on it," he said, and in 1966 he asked 50 Buffalonians to lend him $1,000 each for the $50,000 purchase price. Tick then moved Q-R-S to Buffalo. The nostalgia craze hit soon afterward, and player piano rolls were in demand. "I got solvent in a hurry," he recalled. In 1985 QRS began making player pianos, but piano rolls remained the company's mainstay. In 1989, following financial problems at Lake Erie Boat Cruise Corp., of which Tick was the principal shareholder, Tick sold Q-R-S to Richard A. Dolan, who still heads the firm at the time of this writing.

Tick's first name at birth was "Ismar." He later began spelling it backwards and became "Ramsi." He was born in Buffalo, the son of Jacob and Kate (Person) Tick, both now deceased. (His father was appointed Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals, a lifetime appointment.)

Tick received an undergraduate degree from the University of Buffalo, and in 1949 he received a law degree from there, though he never practiced law.

Mr. Tick died on October 31, 1989 in Erie County Medical Center in upstate New York; he was 75.


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Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association,
a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

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